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Everyone has a heart in The Last of Us Part II

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It doesn’t matter if you’re a walking fungal nightmare or a survivor willing to do horrible things just to have one more chance to watch the sun rise, because everyone has a heart. Heck, even me! Right here in this jar, that I keep under my desk. In The Last of Us Part 2, that vital chest organ is more than just the engine which moves a body forward.

It’s an actual gameplay feature, with the post-apocalypse sequel somehow managing to give every character in the game a heart of their own. “Just about every facet of the game has been updated to some new level,” Co-director Anthony Newman said to Polygon.

One of them is the audio where, I’m not sure if you noticed it, but as Ellie sprints around and then she settles, she’ll kind of catch her breath. What’s happening behind the scenes is Ellie has a heart rate that is oscillating up and down. And that modulates the bucket of breathing sounds that she’s able to use.

Which means that Ellie’s heart rate will increase when she’s engaged in some heavy end of the world cardio or in the presence of dangerous foes such as Clickers and scavengers. With that technology, every other character has a heartbeat of their own which helps dial up the tension and immerse the player more into the world of The Last of Us Part II. A subtle language for fear that helps create a more realistic world through discreet audio cues.

“It’s been incredible because I found myself able to play cat and mouse with Clickers better than ever before because I can kind of understand them by the noises that they’re making,” Newman added.

And the humans will do the same thing with breathing and sprinting and stuff.

You’ll be able to listen to your own heart beating faster and faster come February 21 next year, when The Last of Us Part II finally lands on PlayStation 4.

Last Updated: October 3, 2019

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